May 4, 2016

Partly sunny

Portrait of a Sandhill Crane. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

With its loud, resonating, metallic cry you can often hear the Sandhill Crane before you see it, and it is certainly a sight to see! The Alaska Department of Fish and Game describes it as Alaska's largest game bird. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

While I photographed, these two pulled up a lot of what appeared to be grass. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

While I photographed, these two pulled up a lot of what appeared to be grass. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

These Mallards are just waking from an afternoon nap in the warm autumn sun at Sandy Ridge. The water is colored by the reflections of the leaves in the water and the late afternoon sun. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

While I photographed, these two pulled up a lot of what appeared to be grass. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

Back lighting again. This buck chased this herd of does across the East pond at Sandy Ridge Reservation. Once in the bush he chased the largest doe back into the water, before cornering her and exiting stage right. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

Upside down Gray Squirrel eating Norway Maple seeds. Norway Maple seeds mature in the Fall and they must now be just right, because there were at least a half dozen Gray Squirrels--certainly connoisseurs of nut and seed ripeness- working them Saturday morning. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

Once rare, hawks and other birds of prey have adapted to urban settings. This young Red Tailed Hawk devours a squirrel in an Eastern Heights back yard. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

Mute Swan is something of a misnomer. They are not silent--they are just not as vocal as other Swans.Their voice is startlingly small--often a thin, tinny whistle that would seem more appropriate to a much smaller bird. The male-the Cob- on the left, can be distinguished from the female-the Pen-by the larger black knob on the beak.Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

Group of Bird Watchers seem waist deep in goldenrod at Sandy Ridge on a bright sunny September morning chilly nights bring more and more waterfowl into the area. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

Plovers were once a prominent game species, but have not been on the game list for many years. Market hunting and now loss of their favored shoreline habitat have cut their numbers greatly. These were photographed working the shoreline at Sandy Ridge. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

Egret fishing in timber reflections with ducks. This egret was one of several fishing the shallow waters at Sandy Ridge Monday morning. The ducks appear to be a mix of Wigeon and female Ruddy Ducks. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

A Donald Drake looks a little bedraggled in his fall travel plumage, but it is safer-- less noticeable to hawks and other predators. Photographed at Sandy Ridge, North Ridgeville, Ohio. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

August 2011 Lorain Lakeview Park. Lifeguard at work with triathlon swimmers who panicked on big water. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

When I first saw these young Black Ducks perhaps 5 weeks ago they were half this size and their mother had them firmly in tow. She, in fact, was no more than three feet away from them when this photo was taken. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

Mayfly hatch at Marina Internationl Lorain Ohio on Sunday morning. This Mayfly had just emerged form former skeleton and was resting in the sun on a Cola machine on the dock. It was a wonderful morning to be alive. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

Native Elyrian, Byron Scarbrough was raised in the Sportsman tradition with a love of the outdoors A native Elyrian, Byron was raised in the Sportsman tradition with a love of the great outdoors and respect for land. An avid angler, he's fished from the Canadian Arctic to Florida's Coastal Islands and everywhere else he could in between. A certified Whitetail Clinic Instructor, he's harvested multiples of nearly every legal game species in Ohio. He is a graduate of OSU School of Journalism and has written several books in the area of military history. He is a clay busting, mountain biking, lap swimming, geo-caching, horse riding, fish catching, line running, canoe paddling, trail hiking, arrow slinging, pine cone eating, wilderness camping fool, who will do almost anything to avoid working in a cubicle.

Thinking of walleye en route to deer camp

First things first. The amazing Lake Erie night bite continues, as good as it’s ever been in the opinion of many anglers. Boats are coming back from the east side of Cleveland to west of the islands with the live wells just full and 10-to-11-plus pound walleyes being reported somewhere every day. With surveys bringing Read More…

State mishandling response to CWD

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is the most feared malady affecting deer today, although there are several other infectious diseases of concern. The history of CWD in Ohio is brief, beginning only last year, but its potential is scary. First detected in a captive deer heard on a preserve in Holmes County, the first infected deer Read More…

Tracking the black bear and gray wolf

While last week’s winds churned up a murky Lake Erie, night-bite walleye anglers continued to fetch big catches. Various wildlife law enforcement agencies kept them honest with a noted presence in both the central and western basins, but few violations were reported, and they seemed most concerned with the proper display of boat lights and Read More…

It’s that time of year: Hunting season, night bite in full swing

While last Friday’s heavy rain made it difficult for opening day pheasant hunters to reap the feathered harvest, plenty of hunting opportunities exist before the season closes Jan. 10. Those who speculate none of the 15,000 ODNR-released rooster pheasants could survive in the wild may be surprised to know that wild pheasant numbers are on the rebound for the first time since 1966. Although this year’s Read More…

Ready, set, hunt! ODNR’s ring-neck pheasant releases give hunters a lot more to aim for in ’15

While most of you are having your Friday morning coffee while reading this, I’ve already been in the field for hours, and I’ve had plenty of company. Today is the biggest day of the year for many hunters because it’s opening day of pheasant and rabbit season. Like many of you, I’ve watched those TV shows where some celebrity hunter blasts pheasants out of the South Read More…